I know how nerdy it sounds, but I love becoming a character. I love participating in plays and skits. I love those dinner party mysteries where you try to find the killer. And I especially love Dungeons and Dragons.
(Yes, this is my character--a Watersoul Genasi Warlord. I illustrated her while I was stuck in various airports over the break.)
There's something about becoming something different--becoming something more than myself--that I enjoy about D&D. It's fun interacting with other people to face unexpected adventures. It stretches me to use my imagination, to think critically, to react creatively. While it might all be pretend, it changes who I am in the real world.
Reading does the same thing. Good books introduce us to people we would never meet on our own. They help us understand people on a more intimate level. They make us realize that we can become something more than ourselves.
This weekend we started our new campaign. Over the next few months, we'll fight demons and evil warlords. We'll save damsels in distress and rescue cities from pirates. We'll sail dangerous seas and face nightmarish monsters. And we'll do it all from the safety of Gordon's living room while eating pizza and drinking Mr. Pibb.